Backing London’s mums: The Princess Project - The Health Lottery
Our daily lives have changed beyond any reasonable expectation in the last couple of months. We hear more about "self-isolation" every day. The projects supported by the lottery charity funding raised through The Health Lottery are highly experienced in connecting communities.
They are now adapting their services, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, to ensure that no one feels alone.
The Princess Project is a grassroots charity in Maidstone, which supports mums who are particularly vulnerable at this time. Many are isolated, often living in small flats on low incomes – with little or no family or other support networks around to help out. In addition, many of the members have children with special educational needs. The charity was made a grant by People’s Health Trust, using money raised through the Health Lottery London East society lottery.
The project has had to stop physical sessions, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, it has now adapted in several ways to continue supporting their members and the local community. The volunteers have begun a telephone befriending service. This provides emergency and responsive support to pregnant or unwell mums who are self-isolating. The project has also set up a Tot Cycle Storage to offer essentials – including nappies, baby milk, clothing, food, books and toys.
In order to keep the all-important social connections alive, the mums are having virtual meetings using Facebook Live. Their sessions have included reading books together, teddy bears picnics at home, and painting rainbows.
“We want to continue being a lifeline for mums in need of support, by providing essential baby and toddler items free of charge. We are trusting that when all this is over, we will emerge with our Princess Project family stronger than ever. We have stood alongside one another in our hour of need” - Emma Turner, project co-ordinator
In May, all funds raised through The Health Lottery will be used to underpin grassroots health projects in Wales. We remain ever grateful for the continued support of our players.